Dallas, Texas – In a case that has garnered considerable attention in the Dallas area, a grand jury has cleared Kevin Jackson, a man who had been accused of murder in connection with an incident at a Family Dollar store in Southern Dallas in November 2022.
The incident occurred last fall after dispute between store employees and accused thief
Jackson had intervened in what appeared to be an altercation between two store employees and a man who was accused of theft and assault. According to an arrest affidavit obtained by our team last fall, the incident began when 26-year-old Phillip Betts got into a dispute with a store employee who had accused him of shoplifting and subsequently confiscated his backpack. Denying any wrongdoing, Betts reportedly punched the woman multiple times, prompting another employee to deploy mace against him.
Amid the chaos, Jackson entered the store and witnessed the ongoing confrontation. In the affidavit, Jackson, who had willingly waived his rights, told investigators that he had fired his weapon at Betts out of concern for the safety of the two women who appeared to be under attack. Fearing they would be seriously injured, Jackson claimed to have instructed the women to move away from Betts before discharging his firearm once, aiming for Betts’ leg.
Following the gunshot, Betts fled the store, but soon after collapsed and subsequently died from his injuries. Jackson, after recovering his spent cartridge casing and a live round, placed his firearm in his car and awaited the arrival of law enforcement.
Surveillance footage from the store confirmed that Betts had indeed assaulted the two women and was struck by them as he attempted to leave. It was also corroborated that the women had moved away from Betts just moments before Jackson fired his weapon.
Despite the evidence presented, Dallas police arrested Jackson and charged him with murder, asserting that Betts was unarmed at the time of the shooting and did not pose a lethal threat. However, the grand jury’s decision last month to clear Jackson of the charges brings a significant development to this highly contentious case.
“Detectives looked at all of the evidence. And at the time of the shooting, there was no imminent danger of a deadly force confrontation,” said Sgt. Warren Mitchell with the Dallas Police Department in November 2022.
A Dallas County grand jury disagreed and “no billed” Jackson in July, meaning they didn’t believe there was enough evidence to support a criminal charge.